1. Studios wanted Matthew McConaughey to play Jack, but James Cameron insisted on having Leonardo DiCaprio play the role.
2. Gloria Stuart was the only person who worked on the film who was actually living in 1912 when the Titanic sunk.
With her nomination for Best Supporting Actress at age 87, Gloria Stuart became the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar.
3. On the set of Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s pet lizard was run over by a truck, but with some TLC, Leo nursed him back to life.
4. On the final night of shooting in Nova Scotia, one or more pranksters mixed PCP (angel dust) into the clam chowder served to the cast and crew. 80 people were sent to the hospital with hallucinations.
5. Reba McEntire was offered and had accepted the role of Molly Brown, but due to later schedule conflicts, had to turn it down.
6. Kate Winslet was one of the few actors who didn’t want to wear a wetsuit during the water scenes. As a result, she got pneumonia.
7. The cost to construct the Titanic in 1910-1912 was $7.5 million which was about $120 to $150 million in 1997 dollars. The movie cost $200 million to make.
8. Titanic was the first film to be released on video while it was still being shown in theaters.
9. Old Rose in the movie owns a Pomeranian. A Pomeranian was one of only three dogs known to have survived the disaster.
As the real ship sank, a passenger freed dogs from their kennels and a survivor later recalled a French bulldog swimming in the ocean. James Cameron filmed scenes portraying the poor animals but cut them.
10. James Cameron originally wanted Enya to compose the score for the film and even went so far as to assemble a rough edit using her music. When Enya declined, Cameron hired James Horner.
11. James Cameron drew all the pictures in Jack’s sketchbook. The hands seen sketching Rose were not Jack’s but Cameron’s.
12. The coat Rose wore when the ship was sinking was a size 8 while the rest of the gowns were a size 4. It was made larger to make Rose look more vulnerable in the sinking scenes.
13. The elderly couple seen hugging on the bed while water floods their room are the owners of Macy’s department store in New York; Ida and Isidor Strauss, both of whom died on the Titanic.
Ida was offered a seat on a lifeboat but refused so that she could stay with her husband saying, “As we have lived together, so we shall die together.” There was a scene filmed that depicted this moment but was cut from the final version.
15. Gwyneth Paltrow was up for the role of Rose.
Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Sharon Stone were all considered for Rose as well.
16. After finding out that she was going to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet decided to break the ice by flashing him the first time they met.
17. The ship exterior set was constructed in a tank on a beach south of Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.
18. The entire set was mounted on hydraulic jacks and could be tilted up to 6°rees.
20. In the scene where the water comes crashing into the Grand Staircase room, the film makers only had one shot at it because the entire set and furnishings were going to be destroyed in the shot.
22. Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Smith but turned it down due to a gastrointestinal infection at the time.
23. The stuntmen in the engine room scenes were only about 5 feet tall to make the engine room look bigger.
24. The film was originally called “Planet Ice”.
It was a decoy title.
25. James Cameron spent more time with the ship than its living passengers did.
26. After James Cameron finished the script, he discovered that there was a real “J. Dawson” who died aboard the Titanic.
27. Most of the decor on the ship was under the supervision of researchers of the White Star Line, the original company which constructed and furnished the Titanic.
28. The piece of wooden paneling that Rose floated on after the sinking is based upon a genuine artifact that survived the sinking and is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
29. When Jack is preparing to draw Rose, he tells her to “Lie on that bed, uh I mean couch.” The line was scripted “Lie on that couch”, but DiCaprio made a mistake. James Cameron liked it, so he kept it.
30. James Cameron did not want to include any song in the film.
The composer, James Horner, secretly arranged with lyricist Will Jennings and singer Céline Dion to write “My Heart Will Go On” and record a demo tape. Cameron responded favorably to the demo and decided to include the song over the closing credits.